Steve Carell and Paul Rudd’s new comedy, Dinner with the Schmucks, figures to be a hit when it opens on July 30, but will it be any good? Newsweek has run an early review of the film and says that “it’s a glimpse into how truly conservative our comedy has become.” That figures, since it’s adapted from a much more off-color French film. The premise of both films is the same—a group of businessmen routinely host dinners in which they compete to bring the most ridiculous guest. In the French version, the main character Pierre (who is played by Rudd in the American version) enjoys the dinners, and the film ends before any dinner actually takes place. However, the American version packages it so every character can be as likeable as possible—Rudd only goes to the dinner so he can get a raise, so he can marry his girlfriend. “Though the premise of Dinner for Schmucks is deeply cruel, we are supposed to laugh, because we trust that by the closing credits the characters will have matured into upstanding men. Too bad Hollywood doesn’t give the audience credit for being mature, too,” Jennie Yabroff writes.
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